One of B.C.’s best-known businessmen has pledged the largest donation ever received by the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
Philanthropist Jim Pattison is giving $5 million to be used for state-of-the-art equipment and training at the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Patient Care Centre. The 500-bed facility serves about 10,000 people every year.
"I'm hugely impressed," Pattison said, reflecting on his tour of the centre on Tuesday. "I don't think I've ever seen a place as good as this before."
To recognize the donation, the facility’s atrium and concourse was christened with Pattison’s name.
Inside the atrium, Pattison took a moment to thank the volunteers who contribute to the hospital and its fundraising efforts.
"Money is really not nearly as important as giving your time. … This hospital wouldn't be here, our community wouldn't be here as good as it is if it wasn't for the people like you who are giving your time and expect nothing back."
Pattison also reflected on his time spent in Victoria as a child, and said after his extensive travels he still considers the Capital Region one of the most beautiful places in the world.
"My family's best friends lived in Victoria, so every second year we would come here and have Christmas. So I've been coming here for a long time and to see the changes and this magnificent facility and this part of the world is really special."
Leslee Farrell, Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Building Care Together campaign co-chair, said she is "deeply grateful" for Pattison's generosity, while North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite applauded private sector donations like Pattison's to help build a better healthcare system.
The foundation's fundraising campaign now sits at $18 million of its $25-million goal, Farrell said. More than 2,500 people have donated to the Patient Care Centre since the campaign kicked off in 2011.
“Now it’s up to all of us in the community to give what we can and match this wonderful gift,” Farrell added.
For more information or to donate to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, call 250-519-1750 or visit buildingcare.ca.